Bella was born in Horodenka, Eastern Galicia, Poland, to an intellectual and Zionist family. She married there and had a son, Michael. They sailed to Australia in October 1938 to meet up with her husband and his family.
Twin sons Ben and Fred arrived later and all three boys became doctors. Bella also ensured they knew how to play the piano well.
Stricken with illness in later life, Bella lived in a wheelchair.
Throughout her memoir she ruminates at length on the causes of war, the nature of suffering and the murder of her family. Her only surviving brother’s death in Sydney moves her deeply.
Bella and her husband, both committed Zionists, visited Israel frequently and one of their sons married there.